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Boss impressed by determined Stags

28 January 2023

Manager Nigel Clough lauded his side’s determination to clinically overcome Doncaster Rovers in a rampant 4-1 home victory.

Stags led by two goals at the break thanks to early notches from Stephen Quinn - inside 25 seconds - and Alfie Kilgour in the 25th minute.  

The hosts threatened a second-half comeback after Kyle Hurst netted on 53 minutes for Rovers. But Stags soon quashed any hopes of a Doncaster revival as Lucas Akins and Will Swan both struck to wrap up a professional home triumph. 

And the manager was encouraged by his side’s unruffled mentality. 

“The way we reacted was good, the determination that we weren’t going to throw it away again,” he told iFollow Stags after the game. 

“[We scored] after 25 seconds so that got us off to a great start. That gives everybody a lift in the crowd. Then we backed it up with another great goal. 

“[We] let them back in but the reaction after that was brilliant.” 

Lucas Akins returned to the Stags’ starting XI for the first time since 29 December and marked it with a goal and assist and the gaffer said: “Lucas Akins getting a toe-poke [goal] is very difficult when the ball is bouncing, to get the connection on it and to direct it in.

“That was the most difficult finish today, and the timing of it [was very important], just a few minutes after they pulled that goal back. 

“I saw a couple of their lads with their heads in their hands. When that third goal goes in it demoralises them a little bit. So that was as important as any [other goal in the game]. 

“He’s a very good striker, unselfish, gets hold of the ball for us, gives us a focal point that we can play into. 

“I think we’ve played better in recent weeks, we were just clinical today.” 

Goalkeeper Christy Pym was replaced in the starting XI by experienced stopper Scott Flinders. The manager provided an update: “He [Pym] dislocated his finger, so it’s a little bit sore. Hopefully if it settles down he should be okay for next Saturday [against Bradford] but if not, we’ve got a very capable deputy [in Scott Flinders] which gives you such a peace of mind to know that Scotty’s there in the background.” 

The manager also provided an update on Stephen McLaughlin and Hiram Boateng who were replaced in the first-half: “[It was his] ankle. [I’m] not sure to what degree [he has injured it], he’s got a protective boot on [which is] precautionary at the moment.  

“Hiram Boateng got a couple of kicks in his glute so we are hopeful he will be all right for next week [and] George Maris will be back from suspension.” 

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